Crowd turns out to watch York Hotel demolition
Demolition has started on a notorious hotel in downtown Edmonton.
As an excavator raised its shovel Saturday to tear through an old orange sign that reads "Happy Hour," many are looking back on the history of the York Hotel.
Gary Garrison was part of a crowd that watched with camera phones ready.
Living in the area for nine years, he said he would often walk past the York — but always on the other side of the street.
"Had a big sign on the door, saying ‘No Knives Allowed,’ which I think said a lot about the character of the place."
Garrison said that when the city bought the hotel and closed it down in 2010, it made an immediate difference in the neighbourhood.
Police and emergency workers were regularly called out to the York.
Now it's being torn down to make room for affordable housing, part of a neighbourhood revitalization project.
Attempts were made to preserve the 1913 building, but the city deemed it too costly. Some bricks will be used for construction in the area.
Garrison thinks more should be done to hold on to Edmonton's history.
But for this building, he thinks it might be best to make a clean start.
"I'm glad to see that this hotel isn't going to be part of our culture anymore."